The DGHS closes 52 health establishments

The Directorate General of Health Services is touring a clinic on Nazimuddin Road on Monday. — Sourav Lasker

The director general of health services closed at least 52 health facilities in four divisions due to irregularities on Monday, the first day of a new four-day campaign.

The 52 hospitals and clinics include eight facilities in the capital and seven elsewhere in Dhaka division outside the capital, 10 in Rajshahi, 10 in Khulna and 17 in Chattogram, according to DGHS officials.

DGHS hospital wing director Belal Hossain said four teams carried out raids in different parts of the capital.

The closed health facilities in the capital are Khilgaon General Hospital, Basabo Central Hospital, Kanak General Hospital in Matuail, Salman Hospital and Diagnostic Center in Shanir Akhra, Khidmah Hospital Lifecare in Bakhshibazar, Dhaka General Hospital in Chankharpool, Manaj Khanna Hair Transplant Cosmetic Surgery Counseling and Diagnostic Center and Dhaka Pain and Spain Center in Banani.

DGHS Deputy Director Billal Hossain said he found the facilities were operating without licensed doctors and in an unsanitary environment.

“We have no judicial powers, but as the licensing authority we have taken legal action against them,” he said.

Locals said that the Uttara Al Ashraf General Hospital Authority itself shut down the operation of the facility early in the day to avoid a raid after the DGHS announced the conduct.

Rajshahi Divisional Health Director, Md Habibul Ahsan Talukder said that a total of 10 health facilities under Rajshahi Division have been shut down on various charges.

“Eight hospitals and clinics in Bogura and one in Natore and one in Chapainawabganj have been sealed,” said Habibul Ahsan.

Barishal Divisional Health Director Humayun Shaheen Khan said they did not carry out any raids on the first day.

“We will start the ride on Tuesday,” he said.

Dhaka Division Director, Md Farid Hossain Miah said due to another concern, all civilian surgeon offices in Dhaka Division may be raided on Monday.

“Five hospitals in Narshindi and two in Manikganj have been closed,” he said.

In Chattogram, 17 health facilities were closed on the first day.

Chattogram civil surgeon Mohammad Elias Chowdhury said he visited 49 health facilities and found irregularities in 17.

“We will also raid tomorrow,” he said.

Khulna Divisional Health Director Md Monzurul Murshid said 10 hospitals and clinics were closed in the division on Monday. Four of them are in the city and two in each of Jhinaidah, Kushtia and Meherpur districts.

Sylhet Divisional Health Director Himangshu Lal Roy said no health facilities were sealed during Monday’s campaign.

It was unclear whether the divisional health offices in Mymenshing and Rangpur carried out a raid.

The DGHS announced on Sunday that it would begin a four-day campaign against illegal hospitals and clinics across the country starting Monday.

Ahmedul Kabir, additional director general of health services, said they had closed 1,641 hospitals and clinics in the last three months because they were operating in violation of the rules.

On May 26, the DGHS launched the previous campaign against unauthorized clinics and hospitals during which it sealed the facilities.

The DGHS offered non-compliant facilities a three-month grace period to improve their operations.

A total of 1,489 health facilities received new licenses while another 2,529 facilities applied for new licenses or renewal of their licenses across the country.